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Use of husband’s surname is not obligatory...

Use of husband’s surname is not obligatory
"I am already separated from my husband. He is seeking for reconciliation but I am not considering the same. He found out that I have been using my maiden surname in my application forms for local work. But I am declaring that I am married to him. He threatens me with filing of a complaint for falsification of document if I would not consider his offer for reconciliation. Can I be liable for the crime of falsification of document for using my maiden name?Gin Dear Gin,Falsification of Document is a crime committed by a person who is guilty of falsity through the commission of any the following acts: (1) counterfeiting or imitating any handwriting, signature or rubric (2) causing it to appear that persons have participated in any act or proceeding when they did not in fact so participate (3) attributing to persons who have participated in an act or proceeding statements other than those in fact made by them (4) making untruthful statements in a narration of facts (5) altering true dates (6) making any alteration or intercalation in a genuine document which changes its meaning (7) issuing in an authenticated form a document purporting to be a copy of an original document when no such original exists, or including in such a copy a statement contrary to, or different from, that of the genuine original (8) intercalating any instrument or note relative to the issuance thereof in a protocol, registry, or official book. For a conviction of falsification of document, it is not sufficient to prove that the accused has committed an act constituting the falsity as above stated. It is equally necessary to prove that the falsification caused damage to a third party or that at least the falsification was committed with intent to cause such damage (Article 171, Revised Penal Code). The use of your maiden name in your application form for local employment may not be sufficient for conviction of falsification of document because it appears that you have not committed any falsity in such a declaration. The name which you have declared is your maiden name and not a name which you are not known to be. It seems that you have adopted the surname of your husband when you got married. Such adoption is supported by Article 370 of the Civil Code which provides that a married woman may use (1) her maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname, or (2) her maiden first name and her husband’s surname (3) her husband’s full name, but prefixing a word indicating she is his wife, such as “Mrs.” A careful scrutiny of this provision and based on the Supreme Decision in Yasin v. Honorable Shari’a District Court (311 Phil. 696, 707 [1995]) reveals that the use of a married woman of her husband’s surname is permissive rather than obligatory as the law uses the word “may”. Hence, you may not be liable for falsification of document by declaring your maiden name. Moreover, as you have stated, you have declared your true civil status, being married in your application form.Please be reminded that the above legal opinion is solely based on our appreciation of the problem that you have stated. The opinion may vary when other facts are stated."
 

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"Use of husband’s surname is not obligatory" was written by Mary under the Legal Advice category. It has been read 119 times and generated 0 comments. The article was created on and updated on 15 September 2021.
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